August 16, 2010

Diving Into the College Application Process

*This is an archived post. For up-to-date information on the CA4, please go to our section on Admission FAQ’s!

The 2011 Common Application is available online now! This year, 415 colleges and universities in 44 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Germany and Italy, are members. Take a look at the Common Application list to view a remarkably diverse range of schools! Go to www.commonapp.org to view the member colleges and universities as well as their admissions requirements.

The Common Application allows you to fill out one form for all of the schools on this list to which you wish to apply. The website includes easy access to the complete first-year application packet with easy-to-follow instructions (available as PDFs and some Word documents), including: the actual application, deadlines and requirements for all schools, teacher evaluation forms, athletic and arts supplements, as well as links to the supplements that many schools require.

If you use the Common Application, you will be expected to write three essays:

  • A short essay on the activity or job that has meant the most to you (150 words);
  • A personal essay which has six options, including “Your own topic” (250 words or more);
  • “Additional information,” which allows you to elaborate on any elements of your profile, such as special circumstances or additional qualifications (no word limit).

All of these essays help the admissions officers to get to know you better!

Don’t forget to check out the supplements that many individual colleges require before you start writing the essays. You will want to weigh your options in order to determine what to write for each section.

And, of course, there are hundreds of schools nationwide that prefer their own individual applications. Now is the time to make your list and get started!


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